July 10, 2019—The Center for Entrepreneurship in the Craig School of Business and Technology at Missouri Western State University is celebrating its fifth anniversary in July.
“It’s hard to believe that the Center for Entrepreneurship will be celebrating its five-year anniversary this month,” said Annette Weeks, CFE director. “While the years have flown by for me personally, I am amazed at how much we have accomplished. I am also so grateful that Missouri Western’s Craig School of Business realized the importance and impact that entrepreneurs make on our community. When the Center was created in 2014 as a way for the University to give back to our region through economic development outreach, we never dreamed it would impact so many lives personally.”
The Center for Entrepreneurship trains, mentors and supports business owners and entrepreneurs in the St. Joseph region and beyond. Faculty and students in the Craig School of Business serve as a resource for the Center’s clients. All services are free of charge and confidential. In five years, the Center has worked with more than 580 entrepreneurs, created 242 new jobs, retained 125 jobs and made an economic impact of more than $25 million. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story, Weeks said.
“We have helped people achieve their dreams of starting or growing their own business. We have also kept longtime businesses open and serving our community by connecting new entrepreneurs with established businesses whose owners were ready to transition,” Weeks said. “Since education is our central mission, we have connected Missouri Western students with area businesses to create marketing plans, campaigns and other important hands-on learning opportunities.”
In addition to one-on-one mentoring with business owners, the Center for Entrepreneurship created a week-long series of workshops called Entrepreneurship Week. The fourth annual event in March attracted more than 1,000 participants.
Weeks has served as the Center’s director since it opened in 2014. Prior to joining Missouri Western, she spent seven years as an enterprise facilitator for Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation after a career as a business owner and manager. Weeks graduated from Missouri Western with a degree in elementary education.
Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.